HHSAA Girls Soccer
Defending champ PAC-5 to face off with Kapaa for Division II title


Fri, Feb 3, 2023 @ Farrington

Final 1st 2nd OT 2OT PK Tot
Kauai (9-4-2) 0 0 - - - 0
PAC-5 (7-4-1) 3 1 - - - 4
S. Nasu (9’, 20’)   M. Hironaka (32’)   L. Leano (57’)

KALIHI — The Pac-5 Wolfpack took care of business against Kauai 4-0 at Skippa Diaz Stadium at Kusonoki Field and will be heading back to the HHSAA Division II Championship Saturday night.

Their match against the Red Raiders was a rematch of last year's Division II Finals.

"The girls played really well and with each other," said assistant coach Aliani Lorenzo. "They played for each other and for the coaches that weren't here." Co-head coaches Ryan and Shannon Leong are out sick and will miss the championship game.

The scoring started in the 9th minute when junior Solala Nasu hit a free kick 50 yards in the air that went over the outstretched arms of the keeper to make it 1-0.

Nasu added her second goal off another freekick, this time from 40 yards out and into the top right corner of the goal. However, Nasu picked up a knock when she won the freekick. After she scored, she went down and did not see much action after that. 

With their leading goal scorer and one of their key defenders down, the Wolfpack needed a hero to step up and they found one in senior Mia Hironaka.

"Mia is one of our seniors this year and stepped up big for us," said Lorenzo. "She's one of the best players on this team and held it down for us in the back well this game."

Besides holding it down for the Pac-5 backline, Hironaka took over the set pieces and scored a freekick of her own in the 32nd minute. She fired a shot from the right side of the field that was initially touched by the Red Raider keeper, but the ball still managed to cross over the line.

Solala Nasu (left) and Mia Hironaka (right) were lock down defensively against the Kaua'i Red Raiders. Leighland Tagawa | SL    Purchase image

"I knew the keeper was already having a hard time with the balls in the air," said Hironaka. "My mind set was to put the ball in a good position to benefit the team or make a goal."

The Wolfpack capped off the scoring in the 57th minute. A ball was thrown into the penalty box and found its way to the top middle of the 18. Lily Leano hit a shot that was deflected off the bar by the goalkeeper, but bounced directly off the keeper's heels and into goal. 

Pac-5 will play their second Kaua'i team in a row as they face Kapa'a tomorrow night for the DII crown.

"We are not going to underestimate them," Lorenzo said of Kapa'a. "I know my girls are hungry and they want to win it. I know they are going to play for each other, but they also believe in themselves, and that's what it really comes down to. Coach Ryan and Shannon we miss you guys. We are playing for you guys and we are going to defend our state title tomorrow."

The Kapa'a Warriors played in the earlier match and toughed out a 1-0 victory over Division II powerhouse Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

This will be the first time that the Warriors will be playing in the Division II final since 2017, where they lost previously to the Ka Makani.

"We are a cohesive and tightly bonded team," said head coach Andrea Alfiler. "We have a tight squad of 18 players and our motto is 'have each other's back.' We have that chemistry on and off the field too."

The Warriors scored the only goal of the game in the 9th minute. Kapa'a won a freekick on the left edge of the 18 yard box and senior Emeli Rubel hit the freekick into the bottom left corner. 

"I honestly couldn't believe it," Rubel said of her goal. "I didn't really mean to hit it where I did, but I'm glad I did and we won so I am really excited."

Rubel hit the ball under the wall, hitting the bottom of an HPA player's cleats, and it skipped passed the diving keeper.

"We are full confident in her (Rubel) ability to hit them from anywhere," Alfiler said of her senor captain. "She's a calming presence for us and we all have faith and confidence in here. She really slows the tempo down for us and gets us into a rhythm. She's got a bright future ahead of her and will play at the college level."

Injuries were a big problem in this game and previous games for Ka Makani. They lost one of their two seniors previously  and four players (Leonie Schenke, Mixtli Rojas-Castelblanco, Davan Rooney, and Kai Lansdale) all went down at one point during the match.

That did not stop HPA from pushing and they almost found an equalizer in the 65th minute. Back in after being injuired, Schenke collected a ball and hit a tantalizing ball just over the crossbar and out of play. 

In the end, the Warriors were able to maintain their lead and will be playing against Pac-5 in the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium tomorrow night for a chance at their first state title in school history.

"Pac5 eliminated us last year in the semifinals," said Alfiler. "We know that they are a quality team and they play quality opponents. We will be prepared and ready for tomorrow."

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